I have been on a hurrication for the past week. I was in Montana and then had quite the time getting to New York because of the hurricane that pummeled the east coast. My journey here involved a small plane and a six hour car ride in which I subsisted on gummy bears, jerky, and rock n’ roll. I guess you could call it practice for my next book that I’ve been working on… “The Fearless Girls Guide.” I’ve been living like a pilgrim ever since, still no power, but I’m grateful for the sweet lullaby and intoxicating perfume of a generator which catapults me into the 21st century every time I turn it on.
But about Montana and fearless girls… I want to tell you about my time there.
One of the things that is hard about my work is that I travel a lot and never seem to be able to quite unpack my suitcase fully before I have to pack it again. I long for my own bed and the ability to be still for very long periods of time.
One of the things I love about my work is that I get to meet the most astonishing people. And see some beautiful, beautiful sights.
One of the things that you may not know about me, is that I went to all-women’s schools for most of my adult education. I’ve spent my life surrounded by very strong, very inspiring women. And on this recent trip to Montana it dawned on me that I was going to get to continue that privilege, hopefully for the rest of my life.
The latest Girl Hunter Weekend was full of women whose ages ranged from about 23 to about 63. That is five decades of wisdom and experience that could be shared across generations in one beautiful place in Montana. Some of us were just embarking on careers and figuring out what we wanted to do and where we wanted to be. And some of us were entering into retirement and deciding what we wanted to do for ourselves and the world now that we had that freedom.
And the group of women that all descended together in one place couldn’t have been a better combination. They all clicked like they had known each other forever.
And for me, it was one of the most inspiring things to be a part of, because no matter what happens in life, love, career or anything else, the most important thing is good girlfriends. They are the ones that will always be there when everything else seems to be falling down around you.
So here are some of the scenes and moments we shared… of course pictures can only capture a small part of the magic, but hopefully you’ll get a taste of it and want to experience it one day with us.
We split up into groups for the various activities, from fly fishing, to hunting, to clay shooting, to horseback riding, to ATV riding and some extracurriculars too…
The ladies were fearless and weathered some pretty chilly weather!
Pretty weather too. Fly fishing is addictive, the rhythm is so meditative.
Even though the fish weren’t biting, it was a great time to learn the technique of fly fishing which once you get it down, explains to me why people become hooked.
At night we had dinners and the first night we all went around the table and shared our story, where we came from and why we were here.
Everyone was amazing.
Each person cracked me up.
And the girl power was awesome.
We stayed in cabins of various sorts.
The views were pretty lovely, I particularly liked the hay bales in the distance.
And I particularly liked this. It’s a bathtub, but I call it: Heaven.
The gals sported their Sure Shot earrings from the gift bags all weekend long, we were matchy matchy.
In between activities we warmed up at the lodge with various beverages.
We did photo time by the fireplace (we’re missing one gal here but more on her in a minute…)
We rode horses with various temperaments…
…and some of us proved just how fearless we were…
We learned to tie flies!
I’ve been wanting to practice this for a while and now I’m hooked. I want to take a class this winter, so if any of you recommend one in the New York area, please let me know!
And we had a little pumpkin carving contest.
The winner got a bottle of wine.
And this gal… she taught me a few things about life. First of all, she is incredibly cool and I want all of her clothes. This is her deer hide skirt… can you tell what that is?
It is the hole from where the deer was shot.
She had so much wisdom this woman, I loved her.
These were sisters who came together and did many things for the first time. I loved having them and hearing about their stages in life. And one of them lives in my old hood in Berkeley, CA!
And we practiced clay shooting. It was… a hard course.
But it was about the fun of it, no judgements. And that is what I love about women in this situations, there’s no ego involved and they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Fun, , fun, fun.
We laughed a lot.
One gal really made us laugh with her “camo” that she brought as a joke. She wore it to breakfast.
Three women came from Portland together and they were in their “unravel” phase as they called it. Or maybe it was “unwrap.” But anyhow they are busy moms and were learning to take time for themselves and with each other.
They rocked out on ATVs.
And it is a very fearless thing to get on an ATV for the very first time by yourself… they went for it.
This was one of the views.
And then we cooked!
We all had monogrammed aprons.
They made Bloody Mary’s for the cooking class because it was the right thing to do.
And we laughed some more.
And then we went hunting.
The fields were creamy and beautiful.
Once again this was a first for many of them.
There is something inspiring just being out there in the wide open.
The ladies went in groups again and had quite a bit of success.
Then chef John showed them how to clean them.
Another first which they tackled with abandon.
Look how beautiful.
These two are sisters.
And this is their mama. Don’t you think they belong in a Ralph Lauren ad? She hunted with diamond earrings on. I love her. She was an inspiration for style and who I want to be.
So was she.
I love this photo, she looks so beautiful with the snow falling. And snow on hay bales. I’ll never get tired of it.
We warmed up by the fire and thawed off often.
And roy joined us often for some lovin.
We played a little pool.
Played some tunes…
And gathered and laughed.
We even watched the Giants win the World Series which was a big exciting moment for our San Francisco contingency.
And we had what might have been my favorite moment in my cabin over a bottle of prosecco.
My new wise and cool friend from Oklahoma gave some of us younger single girls some advice on the trials and tribulations of dating in this modern world that we live in. I actually started taking notes so I wouldn’t miss a thing. I need notes these days.
She said to us:
“You should be celebrated not tolerated.”
And, men can be separated into three categories: Bulls, Steer and Freezer Beef.
Bulls are smart and have it figured out, they know what they want and they go for it. Steers, they want to be smart like bulls but they just can’t qualify and get it together. They’re the guys that always stand at the edge of the dance floor looking in. The bulls are going to ask you to dance. The freezer beef, well… are they even at the dance?
Then we made each other laugh with our dating stories. Laugh, really, really hard. Like it hurt. In a good way. Then we poured more prosecco.
And I tell this story not to put men down, because they are great and I love them. Women just need more bulls in the world. And they need each other to laugh when they run into a herd of freezer beef.
So now we have a little support group. We text each other: bull! steer! freezer beef! as moral support after our dates.
Then I cooked Bananas Foster on top of a flaming horse with chef John. You heard me!
This was our last act of the night… John has been working on this horse for a while, they built it from scratch, even ordered a proper set of hair for it.
And we lit that burning saddle right up and served caramelized bananas over ice cream.
There are other colorful stories of course… but those are for us to keep to ourselves. What happens in Montana, stays in Montana ; )
It was a weekend I will never forget. I miss them already!